SOUTH LAWNDALE — If Akilah Easter had her way, she wouldn't have to listen to loud cell phone conversations on the CTA.
"The cell phone is only for quick, short conversations. It's not for long, loud conversations in public," said Easter, owner of EtiquetteFemme charm school in South Lawndale.
Easter gives etiquette lessons to Chicagoans in her apartment, tackling everything from fork and knife usage to plain old good manners. While things like "please and thank you" haven't changed, modern technology has created more avenues for rudeness — and Easter said cell phones are her biggest pet peeve.
"I just don't understand when that transition occurred to where we have private conversations, all of the things we used to do in private are now done in public," Easter said.
Don't want to be a bother on the Blue Line? Easter has a couple tips for being a modern Miss or Mister Manners:
• Don't talk on your cell phone in public (that means on the CTA, in a restaurant, etc.) unless it's absolutely necessary. Make it short, and unless you're talking to your Grandma, keep it to an appropriate decibel.
• Don't do anything on the internet you wouldn't do in real, non-virtual life. (Example: You wouldn't walk around downtown in a bikini, would you? Don't post a picture on the web.)
"Keep a mystery," said Easter. "Anything you can't do in public, don't do on the internet."